Posted by Kip Earlywine
Before anyone over-reacts to how the Seahawks draft has gone so far, lets remember two things:
(1) Seattle picked near the end of each round this year and only had 1 pick in rounds 3-4 at the start of this thing. If you whipped out the NFL draft chart and added up the total points we started with, we’d probably be bottom five this year in terms of total draft stock. As such, we needed luck on our side if we wanted another draft that pundits would fawn over.
(2) Those lucky breaks didn’t happen. Holy hell has the draft board not fallen our way this year. Cameron Jordan going right in front of us at #24. Rodney Hudson was taken two picks before ours at #55. Between our newly acquired mid-3rd rounder and our early 4th, four DTs have left the board: Casey, Nevis, Ellis, and Fua. Even Ryan Mallett was taken right in front of us at #74, although its pretty unlikely Seattle would have taken Mallett at #75 anyway.
Other than possibly Mark Ingram, an obvious pick didn’t exist at #25. There was no obvious value pick at #57 and I absolutely think Seattle did the right thing moving down to pick up an extra mid-4th. Pretty much every offensive and defensive lineman they would have considered at #57 was still there at #75. An obvious move but a great one nonetheless. Seattle got lemons this year, and is making lemonade as best they can.
If nothing else, I know some people, including Rob, might raise some eyebrows seeing that through 3 rounds, Seattle hasn’t selected a single non-offensive lineman. This isn’t a random happening though- John Schneider and Pete Carroll have a plan and they are executing it by bringing in players like Carpenter and Moffitt. Carpenter has the flexibility to play four spots, but my early impression is that he’s best suited at left guard and could be every bit the left guard Rob Sims was, another guard who converted from tackle. Carpenter can also play either tackle spot if Andrews doesn’t pan out or if Okung gets hurt again. Moffitt is a pure right guard in my opinion, but from what I’ve seen he looks very strong though unrefined (lack of leverage and technique saps his power a bit) and could be an asset in the running game with some improvements.
Seattle is banking on fixing the running game and they wanted the running game fixed LAST YEAR, which is why they made bold moves like drafting Russell Okung 6th overall, signing Alex Gibbs, and trading for Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, and Stacy Andrews. This front office is in a hurry to build a good running game and I say good for them for being so aggressive about continuing that effort, because if the team commits to running the football next year and the blocking and running still sucks, the Seahawks are going to be in a world of hurt. They’ll run themselves all the way to a 3-13 record.
Now, if Seattle was passing on guys like Jake Locker or Cameron Jordan at #25 or Brooks Reed/Ras I Dowling at #57 to make moves like these- I wouldn’t be pleased. But those players didn’t last that long, and except for Jordan, none of them even came close.
I feel neutral about the Moffitt pick. Remember, its a 3rd round pick and the 3rd round is where picks become much riskier. Moffitt seems like a safe pick to me if all you want is a good run blocker who can start immediately. Not jazzed about this pick, but I like it- its a solid pick with good value and it falls within this front offices stated plan. And as said before, there were no obvious alternative options that were superior.
Other teams in round 2-3:
- The patriots and Browns are my draft winners so far. Nate Solder was a bad pick at #17, but Dowling was a good pick later on and Mallett is the biggest steal of the draft. Sandwiched in between those are two young running backs to help New England get younger. New England also added a 2012 1st and 2nd while doing this. This could very easily end up as Belichick’s best draft ever.
- The Browns of course committed highway robbery with the Falcons on day 1, and since then have added Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, and a WR I’m a big fan of, Greg Little.
- Best pick of the day had to be the Bengals taking Andy Dalton. It was doubly awesome since it not only took Dalton off the board to prevent the Seahawks from harming themselves by picking him, but it also made trading for Carson Palmer easier to do later.
- The next pick was the worst, seeing the 49ers make a savvy deal to move up on the cheap for Colin Kaepernick. As much as I like Kaepernick, I was a little surprised to see the 49ers go get him, because Kaepernick has a lot of similarities to Alex Smith coming out of college. Both have lanky builds, played in similar conferences against similar competition and had similar offenses, both were fast guys with good arms, great character, and high intelligence. Obviously, they didn’t take Kaepernick 1st overall and perhaps the coaching is more competent this go-around, and Kaepernick was probably more of a playmaker than Smith where as Smith was more of a pure passer. So its not like Kaepernick is a Smith clone or anything, they just have a lot of similar features. It will be very interesting to watch how he develops over there. Of course, we all want him to fail miserably now, but if he fails miserably, that paints our front office in a poor light for liking him so much. So its tough.
- Marvin Austin almost reached Seattle’s 2nd pick, just like I thought he would all along.
On the whole, I found rounds 2-3 to be remarkably predictable after a wild day 1.
For those watching near the end of NFL network’s coverage today, they interviewed Pete Carroll and asked him some typical softball questions. Carroll did say something that I thought was very revealing though during that interview, noting that his goal tomorrow is to “get faster-” a very obvious hint that the team will be looking at speed positions like corner, receiver, safety, and perhaps defensive end. Unfortuantely, we saw both Marsh and Van Dyke come off the board at the very end of round 3 and those were the speedy corners Seattle was known to be targeting in the mid-rounds. So unfortunately I can’t give any obvious suggestions here.
Every single player that I listed on my “players to watch at #57″ is off the board. Edmond Gates out of Abilene Christian could be a potential small school target. He’s 6 feet tall and dominated the combine with his athleticism, including a 4.35 forty time. Denarius Moore and Niles Paul are similar size/speed options. Given my track record with throwing names out there, I probably just jinxed those three guys.
There are still plenty of size/speed corners available. I can’t speak to their football ability, but I trust this front office has done its homework and when Pete Carroll talked about getting faster, I’m sure he had some guys in mind, perhaps corner AND strong safety.
If Seattle feels like adding a 3rd lineman, Lee Ziemba is still out there and it wouldn’t shock me if Seattle selected him at either of their 4th round selections.
And lets not forget, Ricky Stanzi is still out there. If he’s still there in the 5th round, Seattle should seriously consider selecting him. Mitch Mustain could also get some consideration in round 7.
The Seahawks are “loaded” on day 3, owning 7 picks tomorrow. This is where all that hard work scouting the last 12 months pays off.